Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA) tested positive for the COVID-19 China coronavirus on Wednesday, a day after he campaigned in Georgia with Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden. Richmond has been named director of the White House Office of Public Engagement in a potential Biden administration. A pool reporter for Biden’s Georgia trip also was reported to have tested positive.
Biden tested negative Thursday, according to the campaign. Earlier in the week Biden said he had a cold after he coughed his way through a speech to the nation Monday.
A statement issued Thursday by the Biden transition office stated Richmond was given a rapid test after developing symptoms Wednesday, getting a positive result. A PCR test given Richmond on Thursday was also positive; Richmond is self-quarantining for 14 days.
The campaign says Biden was not sufficiently in contact with Richmond on Tuesday to meet CDC guidelines for close contact. However a screen image from the rally for Democrat U.S. Senate runoff candidates shows Biden with his mask down from his nose and mouth standing a few feet from Richmond.
Noteworthy photo of Joe Biden in Georgia Tuesday. Incoming WH aide @RepRichmond, standing nearby, now has COVID-19
— Steven Nelson (@stevennelson10) December 17, 2020
Statement by transition spokeswoman Kate Bedingfield: